Sunday, November 13, 2011

Attention to d-zone translates into three pts.

  • Are you a glass half empty type of person or a glass half full? If you assess the Kelowna Rockets weekend with the glass half full, it was a remarkable improvement in effort and attention to detail defensively that resulted in a shootout win and an overtime loss. Add it up and the Rockets earned three out of possible four points. It marked the first time since October 1st and 5th, with wins over Vancouver and Tri City, that the Rockets earned points in back-to-back games.

  • We shouldn't look past the Rockets improved defensive effort in Saturday's 3-2 overtime loss in Vancouver. The Rockets allowed just 13 shots on goal over 40 minutes and goaltender Jordon Cooke must have been wondering if he was playing with the same team that allowed 49 shots on goal in a 6-5 shootout loss last Friday to Portland. The Rockets were much more committed to defense and the forwards deserve a lot of credit for getting back to help the d-men. Sure they lose in overtime, but giving up just four goals in back-to-back games shows me the players are buying in to what the coaches are telling them.

  • If Brett Bulmer was showcasing himself for Giants head coach Don Hay, he got his point across that he will challenge for a spot with Canada's world junior team. The best skater on the ice Saturday night, Bulmer scored a sweet goal by using his speed to out race a Giants d-man before niftily tucking the puck past Giants goaltender Adam Morrison.

  • Colton Sissons also had a terrific effort when he stole the puck just outside the Giants blue line, skated in and scored his team leading 10th goal of the season. The shorthanded goal gave the Rockets a short lived 2-1 lead.

  • The Rockets power play again struggled by failing to score on four chances. It also gave up another, yes another, breakaway opportunity that Cooke turned aside. The Rockets are now 1 for 19 in their last four games on the power play. That's a success rate of 5.3%.

  • Both of the Giants goals were scored on the power play. Half of the goals the Rockets have given up in the last three games (5 of 10 goals scored) have been while shorthanded.

  • Kevin Smith returned to the line up this weekend for games against Edmonton and Vancouver. The 20 year-old is no game breaker, but his addition was noted as he was able to spell off some of the younger d-men from playing for long periods of time and in crucial situations.

  • Captain Colton Sissons remained in Vancouver after the game, where he will fly out to Regina for game one of the WHL portion of the Subway Super Series on Wednesday. Teammates Brett Bulmer and Zach Franko fly out of Kelowna to join Sissons in the 'Queen City'.

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